Disney Take Two, A Podcast

*** SHOW NOTES ***

Being recorded in the beautiful ALoft LaGuardia Airport

Retake on the Aloft recording studio, due to it’s close proximity to LaGuardia there was too much ambient plane noise to record so we’ve relocated to the home office Chateau’ Relaxo Florida. As I try to drink local I had started with a Flower Power IPA from Ithica Brewing of Ithica New York. Coming in at 7.2% ABV I gave it three out of five stars. Since I’m back in Florida it’s a Pleasure Chest IPA from Playalinda Brewing out of Titusville, FL. It’s 6.6% ABV and also worthy of three out of five stars.

 

The last two weeks were spent flying in and out of Newark & LaGuardia. LaGuardia is a new destination and due entirely to the fact that Southwest Airlines has pulled out of the Newark airport. Southwest has experienced falling revenue resulting from the grounding of the 737 Max, and this is one of the results.

However, I was fortunate enough to fly out Newark on their final day, which was Halloween. A bonus was that the flight attendants walked down the aisle handing out candy, as we trick-or-treated from our seats.

Last week it was a flight into LaGuardia, and being the travel nerd that I am I always get excited flying into a new airport. Every airport has its constants, Hudson News, inMotion kiosks and the random Asian restaurant. But every airport has it’s own uniqueness, Nashville sells craft beer that you can take home with you. Baltimore offers an endless supply of Old Bay Seasoning and you can buy genuine maple syrup at the Albany International Airport. I’m here to tell you that the only thing unique I found at LaGuardia was that I had to take two buses in order to get to the rental car lot.

From LaGuardia, I headed out for my 38-mile drive to the hotel in Long Island. Ninty minutes later in the pitch black, I arrived…… here’s the interesting thing about pulling into a hotel that you’ve never been to, especially at night…… it’s dark and you have no idea what type of neighborhood you’re in…. industrial park, commercial complex… etc. The next morning I threw open the curtains to discover that I was at a typical Hampton Inn location, close to everything, including traffic.

Wednesday I needed to be in Cromwell, CT, roughly 140 miles from Long Island. This required taking 495 back towards New York and then taking I-95 into Connecticut. For reference I-95 in the northeast is as bad as it is in the southeast. This 140-mile jaunt could easily become a 3-hour stop-and-go trip from hell. Late Tuesday I decided to preserve a bit of my sanity and booked a slot on the Bridgeport Ferry which would take me to Connecticut in under 90 minutes.

Here’s what sold me… from their website.

The Ferry Experience
There’s nothing quite like being out on the open water…
… enjoying the fresh breeze on your face, the gentle sound of the birds above, the beauty of the blue sea and majesty of the coastline as it approaches.

 

So maybe the description was a bit on the marketing side, but I was able to facilitate a GoToMeeting while cruising across Long Island Sound on a sunny Wednesday morning.

At the end of the week, I flew out of Boston Logan, another first. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to scope it out, but if you’re a fan of lobster rolls then visit Legal Seafood for an amazing one.

Here’s how to tell if you need a few days at home. Tonight I ran downstairs to get some food, and as I normally do I patted my back pocket to make sure I had my room key. A few minutes later I’m back to my room so I tap my hotel card on the reader, the light turns green I turn the handle…. nothing. I repeat this a few more times…. the same thing green light but the handle doesn’t move. I check the room number, 714, it’s the right room. For any child of the 1980s the number 714 isn’t easily forgotten. So I head back downstairs and hand the desk clerk my license and key card and explain my predicament. The desk clerk smiles and says’ “That’s a Hilton key card, this is the ALoft, a Marriott property” And that’s how you know that you need a few days at home.

A few weeks ago I posted a Disney themed podcast with the disclaimer of, “I’d never thought I’d do any sort of Disney World” post…. well I’m back with number two. Over the weekend “The Entrepreneur” celebrated a birthday and he wanted to spend it at  Epcot. One of our family visits to Epcot was when he turned 21, and he wanted to drink around the world. He made to The American Adventure, the seventh out of thirteen stops before he tapped out. Not bad for someone turning 21 who had never tasted liquor, wink, wink.

 

Thankfully, “The Entrepreneur’s” birthday falls towards the end of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

Food & booze is the sort of motivation I need to make me visit the “Mouse House”. The first thing you notice is that there is an “S” load of hard-core Disney fans and they’ll usually wear shirts declaring this.

Some examples that I saw:

  • Let’s get matching Disney shirts said no man ever.
  • I need a prince in the streets and a BEAST in the sheets.
  • I Wish This Line Would Mufasa.
  • I’m done adulting, I’m going to Disney.
  • I’m Just Here To Pay For Everything.
  • There are two types of people in this world. Those who start with Mexico and those who start with Canada.

I’m not a Disney disciple, what follows will contain “Zero” secret Disney pieces of information. No discount codes, no fast-pass tactics, and no hidden destinations.

 

The Food & Wine festival is exactly like the name implies…… get your eat and drink on. Most of the food samplings, and yes they are samples, not meals, will cost you about $5.00. A flight of booze will be about $10.00. On my last trip to the festival, the flights were four samples of beer/booze, on this visit it was cut by 25%…. three samples.

This day we started in Canada for no other reason that we veered to the right. I went with the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon. I’m a fan of beef, cheap or choice cut doesn’t matter, I’ll go with it. The filet was drenched in a truffle-butter sauce which took it to another level.

In France, it was Croissant aux Escargots which as the name implies was snail croissants with garlic and parsley. This was accompanied by the classic Creme Brulee. The twist on the Creme Brulee was the bottom of the dish was coated in a chocolate-hazelnut cream.

In Ireland, we stopped in for warm Irish cheddar cheese and stout dip that came with this wonderful brown bread for dipping. We also grabbed a couple of full-size Guinness drafts. For me Guinness has to be on draft, their mad scientists can create all the carbonated can inserts that they want, but it will never duplicate a Guinness draft.

One of the new exhibits was the Appleseed Orchard, which as the name implies was all things apple, right down to apple-flavored popcorn. It was here that we went with our first flights. From M.I.A. it was an Apple Belgian-Style Tripple Ale, just so-so. Playalinda Brewing’s Apple Pie Beer was damn good. I’m not a huge fan of fruit-infused beers or sours, but this was tasty. That flight finished up with a Sea Dog Green Apple Ale, which was a bit too sour for my liking.  The second flight consisted of Ciderboys Lemon Cello Hard Cider, Collective Arts Brewing Cherry Apple Hard Cider, and Woodchuck Hard Cider Spiced Apple.

In Future World West we found Earth Eats which offered a few vegan choices. The IMPOSSIBLE™ Burger Slider with Wasabi Cream and spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun As well as the IMPOSSIBLE™ Cottage Pie: IMPOSSIBLE™ Ground Meat with Carrots, Mushrooms, and Peas topped with Mashed Cauliflower, White Beans, and Mozzarella. For being Vegan both were acceptable. They offered a wide array of kombucha, we all passed.

We stopped in Germany for pretzels, pretzels as big as you head. These paired perfectly with spicy mustard and more beer. Also, a great stop for shopping, think beer steins and lederhosen.

American Adventure hosted Hops & Barley. Here we feasted on New England Lobster Roll, Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise on a roll. The New Brunswick Slider was Slow-braised Beef Brisket with Horseradish Cream and Crispy Fried Onions on a Roll. The beers were All American – North Coast Brewing Co. Blue Star Wheat, Fort Bragg, CA, 3 Daughters Brewing A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale, St. Petersburg, FL, Heavy Seas AmeriCannon APA, Baltimore, MD.

My favorite Epcot stop is always Japan, and here it was a teriyaki chicken bun a steamed bun filled with chicken, veggies and a sweet teriyaki sauce. Don’t forget the Sake on draft. The Japan marketplace offers something for almost everyone. You can purchase traditional teapots and wind chimes. Or have an oyster shucked in hopes of finding a pearl.

For fun, you can participate in Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt. Purchase a map and sticker book and then search for 15 little Remy statues hidden throughout the park. Each statue is accompanied by different items, wine bottles, garlic, etc. Each statue has a matching sticker that gets placed on the map. Completed maps can be shown at Disney Traders to choose a prize, we got an insulated tumbler.

For free there’s also a passport that you can fill with stamps along the way.

Next week I’ll post this year’s gift guide, and include some of the best travel purchases that I’ve made this year.

There you have it, safe travels and thanks for listening.

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